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A Strange Scottish Shore
Emmeline Truelove #2
Juliana Gray

September 19 2017/ ISBN 9780425277089
Historical Fiction / Time Travel / Romance

Reviewed by Linda Morelli


1906 Scotland. Emmeline Truelove is traveling to join her colleague, Arthur Maximilian Haywood, the Duke of Olympia, who is staying at a castle in the Orkney Islands. He wants Emmeline to help investigate an unusual object found in an old chest: a selkie skin. The chest belongs to James Magnusson, found while restoring his family’s ancient castle. The “skin” is part of the legend of the Thurso selkie, a creature who will bring true love when she returns to the castle.

Max has an unusual ability to send people through time, and Emmeline, his college and Director of the Haywood Institute for the Study of Time, appears to be a catalyst to Max’s ability to time travel. When Hunter, a man claiming to have been born in 1985, arrives then disappears, they learn their good friend Lord Silverton has also disappeared. Are the disappearances connected?

Later, Emmeline senses Silverton’s presence in the past and asks Max to send her to him. She arrives in the Orkney Islands in the early 14th century, where Silverton finds and protects her. What follows is a captivating and enchanting mystery. Who owned the strange selkie skin? Was the selkie legend real? Can Silverton and Emmeline return to their own time? And why is Hunter following them through time?

I have to admit, I had a small problem following the first two chapters of this novel. Had I read Ms. Gray’s first release, A Most Extraordinary Pursuit, much of the previous relationship between Max, Silverton and Emmeline would be much clearer, as well as the time jumps and Emmeline’s ability to see and converse with the ghosts of her father and the Queen. However, I enjoyed the author’s writing style and descriptions so I persisted and found the remainder of the novel to be entirely captivating and entertaining. The mystery was indeed solid and the ending was an enjoyable surprise.

Reviews of other titles in this series

A Most Extraordinary Pursuit #1
A Strange Scottish Shore #2

Reviewer Note: Juliana Gray is a pseudonym for New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams.

Reviewed 2017